The lives of five fascinating people were woven so deeply into the fabric of ancient Athens that their compelling stories reveal rich details of how the Golden Age of Greece came into being.
Socrates was a stonemason who became a philosopher while having encounters with rich... and powerful people in Athens. Pericles was a cautious young man who grew into a strong leader—in a city known for driving out leaders who became too strong. Aspasia was derided as an outsider and sex worker, but became the consummate insider as lover to Pericles and friend of Socrates. Peisistratos made himself tyrant of Athens in its early years, but he also planted seeds that flourished in the city’s Classical age. Alcibiades was mentored by Pericles and Socrates, then contributed some of Athens’ greatest military victories as the city’s golden years declined.
A wealth of well-established evidence shows how their lives were interlaced with those of Aeschylus, Phidias, Herodotus, Euripides, Themistocles and many other remarkable people. Together they raised the Parthenon on the Acropolis, presented plays in the Theatre of Dionysos, argued philosophy in the Agora and won victories at Marathon and Salamis that sheltered this young democracy from the grip of tyranny. It is through their lives that we see Athens emerge from the mists of antiquity to overcome incredible obstacles and become a beacon of light that still shines in our lives today. The beautiful imagery and illustrations in this highly readable book will cause you to fall in love with Athens all over again.
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